Proceeds from Richie Farmer auction used to plant urban garden i - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Proceeds from Richie Farmer auction used to plant urban garden in Louisville

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Former Agriculture Commissioner and UK basketball star Richie Farmer is serving a 27-month sentence in federal prison.

But Farmer's crimes are being used to help plant seeds of hope in west Louisville in the form of a new urban garden. It's a perfect example of making the best of a bad situation.

Mayor Greg Fischer, current Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and Metro Councilwoman Attica Scott helped break ground for the new urban garden at the Parkland Boys and Girls Club.

It's designed to cultivate seeds of knowledge for kids in this inner city neighborhood.

"When you're dissecting the plants you harvest, you get into biology. When you're digging in the dirt, you get into soil chemistry. When you're planting your tomatoes, you can chart their growth over time and get into mathematics," said Josh Orr of the non-profit group Louisville Grows.

And what's even more productive is where much of the money for this project is coming from.

The Kentucky Agriculture department is using $21,000 earned from the auction last May of the guns and knives illegally obtained by former Commissioner Richie Farmer - the evidence that helped send Farmer to prison.

"We took the money and invested it in this and other urban garden projects with the Boys and Girls Clubs," said Comer.

And with Louisville's Democratic mayor on hand, it's the kind of bi-partisan project that could play well for Republican Comer as he grows a probable campaign for governor.

"I think what people in Kentucky are looking for right now is a strong leader that works in a bipartisan fashion," said Comer.

But the kids don't care about the politics. They just want to turn the soil and the profits from selling their crops.

"Everything that we've grown, we get to see who wants to buy it," said 12-year-old Isis Williams.

"It's fun digging in the dirt and picking up weeds and stuff," added 11-year-old Jaron Maddox.

"It's so awesome," exclaimed Dandrea Gough

The kids will harvest their crop this fall. As for Comer, he hopes to reap some good will in west Louisville.

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